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Bob Woodward: Obama Officials Possibly Facing Criminal Charges for Unmasking Scheme

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said earlier that he had briefed Trump on new information, unrelated to an investigation into Russian activities, that suggested that several members of Trump’s transition team and perhaps Trump himself had their identities “unmasked” after their communications were intercepted by U.S. intelligence officials.

The revelation is notable because identities of Americans are generally supposed to remain “masked” if American communications are swept up during surveillance of foreign individuals.

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During an interview on Fox News, Woodward said that if that information about the unmasking is true, “it is a gross violation.” Read the rest of this entry »

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The National Elite Nervous Breakdown

Rates of depression are soaring among millennials in college. Photo by Jupiter Images/Thinkstock/Getty Images

America’s elites have indulged in a collective paroxysm over Donald Trump, hindering their ability to bounce back politically.


Happy Birthday Richard Nixon 

President Richard Nixon, right, toasts Chinese Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Zhou Enlai during a banquet in Hangzhou, China, on Feb. 27, 1972.Photo: CORBIS

10 fascinating facts about Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon was one of the best-known American politicians of the 20th century’s second half, and one of the most controversial. So how much do you know about the 37th President on the occasion of his birthday?

Nixon burst on to the political scene just after World War II, when he won seats in the United States House of Representatives and the Senate from California. His political career ended in August 1974, with his historic resignation during the Watergate scandal.

In between, Nixon became one of the most famous figures in the world and fixture in national politics. Here are a few things you may, or may not know, about his roller coaster career.

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1. Nixon and Franklin Roosevelt are the only two people to appear on a national presidential ticket five times. Nixon won election in four of the five races, as did FDR. Nixon was the winning vice presidential candidate in 1952 and 1956, and he won the 1968 and 1972 presidential elections. Roosevelt won four presidential elections and lost as a vice presidential candidate in 1920.

2. Nixon had a chance to attend Harvard but had to decline. As a student, Richard Nixon was third in his class and was offered a tuition grant to Harvard, but he was needed at home by his family.

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3. He was also an outstanding law student. After graduating from Whittier College in California, Nixon received a full scholarship to Duke Law and he graduated third in his class.

4. Nixon was a lieutenant commander in the Navy during World War II. He served in a variety of administrative positions, but didn’t see combat during his time in the Pacific.

5. Richard Nixon almost became an FBI agent in the 1930s. Nixon applied to the agency but never heard back about his application. He has been accepted but then budget cuts eliminated his position.

6. Nixon was only 39 years old when he ran for vice president in 1952.Presidential candidate Dwight Eisenhower didn’t have a preference for a running mate, and party leaders favor Nixon for his anti-Communist stance and his strength in California.

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7. Nixon survived two potentially fatal political losses in 1960 and 1962. Defeats in the presidential campaign against John F. Kennedy and the 1962 Californian governor’s race led many political observers to predict Nixon’s career was over. Within six years, he was President after winning a hard-fought campaign in 1968. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Bob Woodward: ‘God Knows’ What is In FBI Notes, Clinton Has Habit of Secrecy

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DECLASSIFIED: U.S. Releases Motherlode of Books, Letters Seized in Bin Laden Raid

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WASHINGTON — Damian Paletta reports: The Obama administration on Wednesday released details on more than 400 letters, books, news articles, research reports and even software manuals it seized during the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden at his secret compound in Pakistan, offering a fresh view into the interests and correspondence of the former head of al Qaeda.

The intelligence agency declassified the names of 39 English-language books seized at bin Laden’s compound. These included books about the Central Intelligence Agency; Christianity and Islam in Spain from 756 until 1031; and Bob Woodward’s 2010 book, ‘Obama’s Wars.'”

The declassified material, which the Office of the Director of National Intelligence labeled “Bin Laden’s Bookshelf,” shows a number of interests—ranging from a Noam Chomsky book on “thought control” to things that could be seen, such as how-to books on terrorist attacks.

“It included, for example, a 2001 document from the U.S. military on ‘instruction on aircraft piracy and destruction of derelict airborne objects’ and numerous records about how to obtain a U.S. passport.”

It included, for example, a 2001 document from the U.S. military on “instruction on aircraft piracy and destruction of derelict airborne objects” and numerous records about how to obtain a U.S. passport. The compound also contained numerous world maps.

The house where Osama bin Laden was finally hunted down. SAEED SHAH — MCT Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/12/20/212378/zero-dark-thirty-leak-investigators.html#storylink=cpy

The house where Osama bin Laden was finally hunted down. SAEED SHAH — MCT

“These are gigantic events that will eventually engulf most of the Muslim world, will free the Muslim land from American hegemony, and is troubling America whose secretary of state declared that they are worried about the armed Muslims controlling the Muslim region.”

Rep. Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said “it is in the interest of the American public for citizens, academics, journalists, and historians to have the opportunity to read and understand bin Laden’s documents.”

“All of this indicates that the Western countries are weak and their international role is regressing.”

— Osama bin Laden, in a letter recovered in the raid

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which released the records, said analysts were still reviewing more information seized during the raid and that “hundreds more” records could be declassified in the future.

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

The intelligence agency declassified the names of 39 English-language books seized at bin Laden’s compound. These included books about the Central Intelligence Agency; Christianity and Islam in Spain from 756 until 1031; and Bob Woodward’s 2010 book, “Obama’s Wars.”

In addition to the books, the documents seized at bin Laden’s compound included 35 items published by other extremist groups, most of which came from Khalifah Publications. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Woodward: World ‘Clearly Is Not’ Safer Than a Year Ago

“Obama has contradicted himself on that because he has declared war on ISIS, and said not just that we are going to contain it, but that we’re going to destroy it.”

The emerging geopolitical threats over the last year, including the rise of the Islamic State and Russia’s regional aggression, have created “a lot of danger out there,” says the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Woodward: Obama Interested Only in Selling, Not Listening

Responding to Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer’s interview with President Obama, aired on Sunday morning, Woodward noted:

“I found the interview with Obama very revealing, because he said he’s going to reach out to the other side — to persuade and sell. Now, if you’re going to reach out to the other side on something, one of the things you want to do is listen. But we didn’t hear that.”

“What we heard, is the continuous Obama line: ‘I’m heading in the right direction; this is right.’ …A go-it-alone approach just isn’t going to work.”

Ian Tuttle National Review Online


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[VIDEO] Woodward: ISIS Strategy a Hot Mess

President Obama laid out “a mighty ambitious goal” when he said he would destroy the Islamic State, and thus far his strategy has been ineffective, says the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward on Fox News Sunday.

“This is a mess. Obama’s clearly gone through a wake-up call — he’s got to come up with something to do here.”

Woodward – YouTube – National Review Online


[VIDEO] Bob Woodward: Obama ‘Disengaged from So Many’ of These Issues

“I think Obama holds Boehner in some disdain…”

Via NRO‘s Andrew Johnson:

…Capitol Hill Democrats expressed to Woodward that they feel “the president is disengaged from so many of these things.” “I think the president’s got to get engaged, he clearly is capable — I think if the political pressure builds, as it will, he will act,” he said on Fox News Sunday.

Part of President Obama’s withdrawal is due to his lack of interest in working with Congress and stems from his rocky relationship with Republican leadership, namely Speaker John Boehner…(read more)

National Review Online


Today in History: 1972, Five Men Were Arrested for Breaking into the DNC Headquarters in the Watergate Complex

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Today in 1972, five men were arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. In their possession were cameras, film, and tear gas guns. Ultimately, the suspects were charged with burglary and convicted in January 1973; however, the real scandal as would later be uncovered by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein revealed that the suspects all had ties to the Committee for the Re-Election of the President, a support group for President Richard M. Nixon. While Nixon denied any wrongdoing or knowledge of the burglary, a secret tape later surfaced and revealed that Nixon had known about the burglary cover-up and had tried to use the FBI to stop the investigation.

With Woodward and Bernstein’s persistent news reporting, their investigation sparked one of U.S. history’s biggest stories of crime, espionage and cover-up and shed a light on the importance of journalism and a free press – leading to the downfall of a presidency, with Nixon resigning office on August 8, 1974.

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(read more) Newseum


Woodward on Obama’s Foreign-Policy Speech: ‘Sometimes It Is Best to Just Be Quiet’

“There’s so much talk, and I don’t think talk solves lots of these problems.”

“A speech like this does not have that effect. “Sometimes it is best to just be quiet, and not try to theorize and not try to explain here, and I think the explaining is just not working.”

— Bob Woodward on Fox News Sunday.

(more) National Review Online


Woodward on IRS Scandal: ‘There’s Obviously Something Here’


​The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward knows a thing or two about investigating Washington scandals, and he believes the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups merits a deeper look.

“We should dig in to it — there should be answers. For the president to take that position is very, very unusual and say there’s not a ’smidgen of evidence here.’”

Woodward raised questions about the Republican House committees’ ability to properly and effectively carry out such an investigation…
Read the rest of this entry »


Harsh: Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ Blunt Critique of Obama’s Leadership in ‘Duty’

 has an item in today’s WaPo that will stir some conversation:

Robert Gates: A look at his career in government: He served as defense secretary under both presidents George W. Bush and Obama, bridging the two administrations and earning a reputation as careful, conservative and consensus-oriented.

Robert Gates: A look at his career in government: He served as defense secretary under both presidents George W. Bush and Obama, bridging the two administrations and earning a reputation as careful, conservative and consensus-oriented.

 writes:  In a new memoir, former defense secretary Robert Gates unleashes harsh judgments about President Obama’s leadership and his commitment to the Afghanistan war, writing that by early 2010 he had concluded the president “doesn’t believe in his own strategy, and doesn’t consider the war to be his. For him, it’s all about getting out.”

Leveling one of the more serious charges that a defense secretary could make against a commander in chief sending forces into combat, Gates asserts that Obama had more than doubts about the course he had charted in Afghanistan. The president was “skeptical if not outright convinced it would fail,” Gates writes in “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.”

Obama, after months of contentious discussion with Gates and other top advisers, deployed 30,000 more troops in a final push to stabilize Afghanistan before a phased withdrawal beginning in mid-2011. “I never doubted Obama’s support for the troops, only his support for their mission,” Gates writes.

As a candidate, Obama had made plain his opposition to the 2003 Iraq invasion while embracing the Afghanistan war as a necessary response to the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, requiring even more military resources to succeed. In Gates’s highly emotional account, Obama remains uncomfortable with the inherited wars and distrustful of the military that is providing him options. Their different worldviews produced a rift that, at least for Gates, became personally wounding and impossible to repair.

Read the rest of this entry »


Woodward Tweaks Axelrod: You Tested Swapping Biden for Clinton, but Not Healthcare.gov?

Andrew Johnson reports: The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward had some fun at the expense of former Obama senior adviser David Axelrod as he tried to both defend the president’s health-care law’s performance this month and downplay efforts to replace Vice President Joe Biden with Hillary Clinton during the 2012 election. Axelrod argued that “due diligence” required looking into the possibility of bringing in Clinton.

“We tested everything — that was our job,” Axelrod said on Meet the Press.

“Everything but Obamacare,” Woodward quipped.

National Review Online


Woodward: If Shutdown or Debt Ceiling Causes Economic Crisis, It’s on the ‘President’s Head’

Bob Woodward of The Washington Post said if there is a “downturn or a collapse” resulting from the failure of CR or debt ceiling negotiations it will be on President Obama’s “head” Monday on Morning Joe.

Woodward noted he respected President Obama’s objection to negotiating on the debt ceiling, but criticized the administration for failing to initiate any dialogue that could result in a deal on funding the government.

“It’s on the president’s head, he’s got to lead, he’s got to talk” Woodward said: Read the rest of this entry »